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FGE Power Reaches Agreement to Finance and Construct 1,500-MW Natural Gas Project in Texas

LCG, July 23, 2014-FGE Power, LLC yesterday announced an agreement to partner with an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group Global LLC to finance and build two, 747-MW combined-cycle gas turbine facilities in Mitchell County, Texas. Phase I of the project, FGE Texas I, is planned to commence construction this fall and achieve commercial operations no later than early 2017. Phase II, FGE Texas II, will add an identical 747-MW power block, with construction to start in early 2015 and reach commercial operations by the summer of 2017. The FGE Texas Project (FGE Texas I and FGE Texas II) represents over $1.2 billion of direct investment.

Minnesota Power Reaches Settlement Agreement with EPA Over NSR Allegations

LCG, July 17, 2014-Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE, Inc., announced yesterday that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to resolve alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act. The agreement does not include any admission of wrongdoing on the part of the company. Minnesota Power is one of many utilities in the U.S. whose investments in electric generation facilities were reviewed as part of the EPA's Coal-Fired Power Plant Enforcement Initiative that began in 1999 and resulted in over 25 related settlements.

Industry News

Los Angeles Announces Solar LA

LCG, November 26, 2008--City of Los Angeles officials, together with representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), yesterday announced an aggressive plan, Solar LA, to develop nearly 1,300 MW of solar electric generating capacity.

Solar LA is presented as the largest solar plan undertaken by any single city in the world. The planned solar capacity is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs. The published plan estimates that every 10 MW of solar can create 200 to 400 jobs, which would lead to approximately 26,000 to 52,000 jobs, given the 1,300 MW target for new solar capacity.

Solar LA includes three components: customer solar programs, utility-owned solar program and large scale solar program. The goal of the customer solar programs is to install a total of 380 MW by 2020. The goal of the utility-owned solar program is to install a total of 400 MW of solar systems on rooftops, reservoirs and parking lots on city-owned property in the Los Angeles basin by 2014. The goal of the large scale solar program is to install a total of 500 MW owned by the LADWP outside of the LA basin by 2020.

Solar LA is expected to utilize a variety of tax incentives and other means to support the investment. LADWP is exploring ways to expand its existing loan program to offer low interest loans to residential customers in an effort to make solar installations more affordable for more customers. Currently, LADWP offers low interest loans to commercial customers for utility infrastructure improvements, including energy efficiency upgrades and solar installations. At present, these loans are being extended for up to 10-year terms at interest rates between 5 and 6 percent.

With respect to the utility-owned solar program, these solar energy systems would be installed, owned, operated and maintained by LADWP except as required to take advantage of federal tax subsidies.

According to the plan, large-scale plants to be developed outside of the Los Angeles basin will likely be developed in response to Request for Proposals (RFPs) that offer long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to third-party solar developers that can take advantage of tax subsidies. The PPAs will include options for LADWP to acquire the plants after the tax benefits have been monetized, which is typically eight years after commercial operation.

California passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Program that requires utilities to increase their electric supply procurement of eligible renewable generating resources by one percent of load per year, with a 20 percent renewables target by the end of 2010 and a 33 percent target by the end of 2020.



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